This is just a short post to draw your attention to a new exhibit at the Jewish Museum in New York called Shifting the Gaze: Painting and Feminism. It is not necessarily a collection of Jewish feminist art, but rather a collection of feminist art drawn mainly from the Jewish Museum’s collection, and that often deals with feminism within the context of Judaism. I have not (yet) gotten to see the exhibit, since I don’t live in New York, but The New York Times seems to think it’s pretty great–full of “smart, nervy works that grapple with feminism and Judaism, often simultaneously.”
The curator, Daniel Belasco, published a piece in Lilith about the exhibit, lending some insight as to what went into the selection of the included pieces. He talks about his selection of large pieces for their visual power, as well as abstract pieces to challenge the viewer to think and feel. He talks about how he made a point of including male artists’ work in the show, stressing his belief that “for an exhibition to argue about the ‘triumph’ of feminism in art, to only present works by women would undermine the point by showing its effect on half the art world.” It’s an interesting piece to read, even if you don’t see the show, as it touches on the power of painting as a medium in itself as well as a means of empowering feminism. It also has some full-page color pictures of paintings that are featured in the exhibit, if you’re interested.